John Lewis outlines its vision for Brighton store
John Lewis has begun public consultations on its proposed Brighton department store.
The chain is inviting comments ahead of submitting an outline planning application for the North Street branch later this year, with a full application in 2017. When John Lewis bought the freehold to the site it was agreed that Boots, which occupies the majority of the site, will remain there until 2018.
John Lewis plans to demolish the building to create more public space around it, meaning it is unlikely to open before 2020.
‘We have held a long term ambition to build a new department store in Brighton and we want to hear local people’s views on our proposals. We have developed an outline planning application so that we can establish the scale of our new shop.
“We are also sharing sketches showing what the shop could look like and we want to hear what people would like to see in the department store,’ said Andrew Mills, John Lewis senior acquisitions and development manager.
The store would be visible from key areas of the city including Brighton station, North Street, Western Road, Churchill Square and Brighton seafront.
The existing Boots building builds right to the edge of the site, which provides minimum space for the public access on North Street and Queens Road and no pavement on Windsor Street. The proposal is to set the new building back from the ownership line to create more pavement space to all roads. A new main entrance will be provided at the junction of North Street and Queens Road that is further set back and splayed to create an easily accessible entrance with 10m of space between it and the pedestrian crossing.
In setting the façade back on North Street, views of the Clock Tower that were blocked by the existing building will now be visible, enhancing its relevance to the spatial orientation of the city. On the top floor of the building an external terrace will be provided that will give views to the sea and pier.